Forbidden by Moira McTark
Forbidden By Moira McTark
Forbidden by Moira McTark ...
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Forbidden by Moira McTark
Forbidden By Moira McTark
Forbidden by Moira McTark This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. Forbidden Copyright© 2007 Moira McTark ISBN: 978‐1‐60088‐145‐9 Cover Artist: Emma Petersen Editor: Leanne Salter All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced electronically or in print without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews. Cobblestone Press, LLC www.cobblestone‐press.com
Forbidden by Moira McTark
Dedication For my husband, Chris, and all the McTarks
Forbidden by Moira McTark
Prologue Cade Watts tested his foothold and reached up, his sweat‐slicked hands seeking purchase on the moss‐covered stone sill. Summer’s retreat had done little to ease the oppressive heat. The humidity added a resistant quality to the air, making his ascent all the more treacherous. Heart beating painfully against his ribs, muscles straining, he pulled himself up and into the open second‐story window. He’d waited for weeks to hear from Claire, tried to contact her through mail, by calling, but he’d been put off by the anonymous voices of servants within her household. He’d nearly given up. Until this morning when her panicked call came through. “They’re sending me away—” “Where are you? Tell me. I’m coming for you.” Then, nothing. The line went dead. He’d rushed to the construction site, dropped off his gear, and told Earl he had to leave. His boss promised the job would be waiting when he got back. He’d hopped in his truck, turned inland leaving the rocky shores of Castle Cove behind, and spent the next seven hours raging down the highway toward her family home. A place he’d never been, a place he would never be welcome, a place he was going without even knowing for sure if she would be there, because it was all he could do. But she was here. He had hidden amid the trees, their dense canopy of leaves shielding him from the moonlight, until he saw her at the window. This window. Only now inside, he realized his mistake. Claire would never sleep in this space. It was a cold, ostentatious room. Gray fabric covered the walls, and gold leaf scalloped the ceiling. A large fireplace occupied the majority of one wall, and pictures of the two most rigid people he’d ever had the displeasure of seeing covered another. The Normandys; Claire’s parents. Shit.
Forbidden by Moira McTark He stepped back to the window, certain any other way in would be safer than this one. Looking out into the night, he saw the looming iron gates at the foot of the drive swing open in a wide, silent arc, allowing a patrol car to pull through and creep toward the house. His ears pricked up, and a cold sweat washed over him at the sound of a shuffle over the thick carpet. Fisting his hands at his sides, Cade turned to face the muzzle of a gun. Standing firm, he made his demand. “Where is she?”
Forbidden by Moira McTark
Chapter One Ten years later… Claire Normandy breathed in the sweet, salty morning air and stretched in front of her widow, lulled by the harbor view. The cool breeze tickled her nipples, teasing them into hard points through the thin fabric of her cotton pajamas. Golden rays poured past her into the loft apartment, soaking the exposed brick walls in sunny warmth. Castle Cove was her home for now, however fleeting her freedom might be. The gallery was nearly done. Construction would be complete within two weeks. The artwork was ready in storage, and her anonymity still secure. She had been afraid to hope, to believe her dream possible, that she could have something for herself. Create something she loved. But with the passing of her mother, the eyes that watched her had been distracted by the ensuing chaos, and she’d found the opportunity to slip away undetected. She’d left her ring and a note for Raymond, a plea that he let her go, one she knew he would never consider. After six months of hiding, dodging, and operating under the thick cloak of Clear Skies Enterprises and the layers of parent companies she’d established, she was but a few weeks from realizing her goal. Let it happen, and then they can come. She dressed quickly in crisp jeans and a loose sweater, pulling her brassy curls back in a leather tie. The site manager for the remodel had left a message that he’d been pulled away for a family emergency, and the boss would be coming by early to meet her. She didn’t want to keep him waiting. A car door slammed below, and Claire rushed through the loft that occupied the second floor above the gallery. She took the stairs two at a time. He stood with his back to her, leaning over a foldout table toward the front of the 7
Forbidden by Moira McTark deserted gallery. Worn blue jeans hugged and hung just right over sturdy legs and a perfect butt. A white, long sleeve T‐shirt stretched across broad shoulders, the collar dusted by the short, dark waves of his hair. Her heart skipped a beat and heat rose to her cheeks before coursing lower through her body. It was suddenly, painfully obvious to her that they were alone. She cleared her throat, trying to look more casual than she felt, and walked past the clutter of ladders, buckets and tools toward the man who, still faceless, affected her in a way she’d only experienced once before…and in this very town. As she approached, he straightened, making a final note. “Morning, Ms. Skylar, give me one second here….” Turning around to face her, his pleasant smile froze in place and for Claire, the world ceased to spin. A wave of elation crashed over her before it all came rushing back and the bitterness swelled anew. It was impossible. This man was supposed to be anywhere but here. Cade Watts stared back at her with a look of shock that must have equaled her own. He was the same and, yet, he was different. Harder now. A long scar she’d never seen, faded by time, ran from his temple down to his cheekbone. He’d barely been a man all those years ago but, to her, he’d been more man than she knew what to do with. More man than she could resist, and she’d paid the price for it, too. Now, man hardly seemed word enough to describe him. “Claire….” Had his voice actually cracked? She swallowed hard. Taking a quick step back, stumbling against buckets and drop cloths, she shook her head, her mouth moving, trying to form sounds, when her mind had given up all together. Regaining some semblance of control, she pushed words out with her ragged breath. “You…you aren’t supposed to be here.... What are you doing here?” His brown eyes darkened, and the hardness she’d seen at first glance intensified. He probably thought she would blow the whistle on whatever scam he was running. Though, standing before her with a pile of notes regarding the remodeling of her gallery, he hardly seemed sinister. Sexy and dangerous? Yes. Always. A threat to everything she’d worked for? Definitely. Anger and humiliation poured over her in a flood of emotion. Even now, when she knew so much better, the sight of him, flesh and blood before her, elicited an unwelcome pulse of heat, betraying all her better judgment. How many times had she fantasized about seeing him again? Slapping his face and demanding…what? That he apologize for using her, ruining her, making her fall in love with him when all he was after was a damn trust fund? Pathetic.
Forbidden by Moira McTark No, the fantasies she entertained about Cade Watts were more often of him climbing on top of her, holding her hands down, sinking into her core and grinding between her legs until she came as hard as she had ten years ago. But here, in front of her for the first time since she discovered the extent of his betrayal, she found herself wanting to study his face, to search those dark brown eyes—eyes that with one glance could warm the deepest spot in her body and soul, or send a stare so cold she’d think her heart would freeze. Maybe she simply wanted to ask him how he could have done it. She licked her lips. “Cade.” It sounded nervous and weak. With a quick shake of her head, she drew up her strength. “I didn’t think you lived here anymore.” Whatever shock he’d been feeling, he recovered from it quickly. He took a step toward her and jammed his hands down into his pockets, suddenly looking like that young man of twenty all over again. “I don’t know why you’d think that. I not only live here, but you’ve got my company working the construction for your gallery. Course, I didn’t know it was yours until just now. Clear Skies Enterprises, Claire Skyler Normandy, very clever. Why are you back here?” She stiffened, the plaster‐patched walls and smell of sawdust threatening to close in and suffocate her. “This is your company?” Nausea settled in the pit of her stomach, knowing that her gallery was being built by a company seeded from the trusts of girls like her. Girls who hadn’t been so lucky. It was revolting. She thought he’d have enough decency to at least act ashamed, but to the contrary, he seemed genuinely pleased. “That’s right,” he said, rocking on the balls of his feet with the pride of a teenager showing off his first car. “Earl sold to me three years ago. It’s taken off in a big way.” “Three years ago? You’ll forgive me for saying so, but I was under the impression you were in prison three years ago.” They’d told her he was locked up, that even when he got out he’d never risk coming back here. Cade’s eyes narrowed, his chin snapped back as if she’d swung at him. He bit the inside of his cheek, watching her. “Hate to break it to you, Princess, but they try to reserve the life sentences for real crimes.” “Real? I’d say yours were plenty real. Who do you think you are—” “Claire, stop it. Now. I’m no happier to see you than you are to see me, so let’s not dredge up a bunch of old crap.” Car doors slammed outside on the street, signaling the arrival of the first workers. Cade looked around uneasily. “We were young and stupid. Now we’re in business together. You aren’t going to get another crew in here to finish this job for you
Forbidden by Moira McTark on deadline. The other two contractors around here both have a backlog for rich‐bitch customers like you almost as long as mine. I have a reputation and don’t want it smeared because I didn’t finish your job. So let’s just agree to keep it to business, and we’ll both get what we want.” “Fine.” “Good enough then.” His eyes pinched at the corners as he stared at her for a moment longer. He looked like he had more to say, but in the end he turned and walked off. Claire let the breath she’d been holding escape in a long hiss. How had she found herself back with the one man she could never forget, could never forgive? The one man who could ruin everything, again.
Forbidden by Moira McTark
Chapter Two Cade’s teeth ground together so hard his jaw throbbed by the time he reached his truck. He’d been stupid to believe she hadn’t known, hoping he’d have another chance when all along everything the bastard had said was true. God damn it, she’d known. Gripping the side of the flatbed, he fought the bile rising in his throat until his knuckles turned white and beads of sweat broke out over his forehead. What in the hell was she doing back in Castle Cove? And how had he gotten mixed up in business with her? No way she’d just stumbled onto his company by accident. This was his hometown. Even if she actually believed he was still in jail, she had to know that eventually he would come back here. One thing was certain; he’d seen enough trouble courtesy of Claire Normandy to last a lifetime. Whatever her intentions in this town were, his were to stay away from her. “Hey, boss! You takin’ over for this one?” one of the men shouted from outside the gallery. About to say no, Cade looked down at his wrists, remembering the feel of cold steel locking around them. Kicking at the loose asphalt by the wheel, he looked out over the harbor, squinting in the morning sun. He should have seen it coming all those years ago. Should have known. Straightening up, he turned back toward the gallery. “Yeah, be right in,” he called. He wouldn’t be blindsided by Claire Normandy again. * * * * * After nine hours of hiding out, listening against her apartment door, the sounds 11
Forbidden by Moira McTark of hammering and gruff shouts were finally dying down. A deep voice resonated through the walls. “That’s it, guys. Meet back here at seven sharp tomorrow. Have a good night.” Thank God. They were leaving. She sank to the floor and let the tears that had threatened all day fall free. She’d returned to Castle Cove, the one place where she’d tasted freedom and known happiness, so sure it would be safe. But after all her work, all her hopes and plans, her greatest sorrow was one floor beneath her. “Pathetic,” she said with a sniffle, wiping her wet cheeks with the back of her forearm, wanting to slap herself for being such a weakling. She shook out her hands and cursed the bad choices—the bad choice with smooth talk and promises of forever— who had made her such a fool. Well, screw him. She stood up. This was going to work. She would accomplish her goal. Even if nothing else in her life ever went right, she would have this one thing for herself. A knock sounded at her door, assailing her new resolve. Her stomach plummeted. She didn’t want to answer. It was him. Who else? Hiding in this building since she arrived in town, there were no friends to drop by. No lovers to embrace. Only one man who twisted the cruel key to her past, threatening her future. She spun around and yanked the door open. Cade stood at her threshold, his impenetrable stare enough to make her shrink back. “Everyone’s gone. Now, I want the truth. What are you doing here, Claire?” He followed the question by pushing past her into the loft. Feeling less than obliging, she answered, “I live here. This is my apartment. What are you—” His hand lashed out, clamping onto her upper arm like a vice. “Castle Cove, damn it. What are you doing coming back here? Why here?” “My choices are none of your business. The only part of my life you have permission to enter is the construction of Clear Skies Gallery. If you don’t think you can handle that without stalking up here and manhandling me, then I suggest you quit and get the hell out!” “I’m not quitting. And if anyone is leaving, it’s going to be you. Find some other coastal town to terrorize with your manipulations.” “What the hell does that mean? The only person doing any terrorizing around here is you, and I’ll thank you to get your hands off of me.” He stared at her for a long moment, his eyes searching hers, making her feel as if she’d been stripped naked and examined with a microscope. She jerked back, but his grip only tightened.
Forbidden by Moira McTark She stood ramrod straight, her fists balled at her side, and tilted her chin up in a dare. “What’s the matter? Worried that I’m going to get in the way of some scheme to hustle another woman into bed and out of her fortune?” “That’s bullshit, Claire, and you know it. You wanted me, remember? You’re the one with the taste for blue collar cock.” She yanked her arm free and swung to slap him, but Cade clamped on to her wrist just shy of his cheek. He backed her against the wall, pinned her with the weight of his body and, gripping both of her arms, yanked them over her head and into one iron fist. “Don’t hit.” His words came out in a slow growl that sent chills streaking across the surface of her skin. Immobilized and defiant, she squirmed in his grasp, but his hold on her wrists only tightened. Cade’s face was mere inches from her own. Her heart beat wildly in her chest, and her mouth went dry as his gaze fixed on hers. Something in the look changed, and he leaned down so his mouth was next to her ear. “I never hustled you, or anyone, into bed or anywhere else.” His voice was low, his lips brushed the outer ridge of her ear, and his breath teased around the hollow, dousing her flaring temper and making her stomach twist with a pang of need. She squinted her eyes shut, willing the arousal away. The man restraining her was dangerous, but her own body betrayed her as wet heat pooled between her legs. “No, you lied and took advantage—” She gasped as his thigh pushed between hers. “Took advantage? You begged me. You wanted me as much as I wanted you. As much as you want me now.” His free hand moved up to her jaw, angling her face toward his. “Look at me, Claire.” She pried open her eyes, instantly knowing it was a mistake. Satisfaction flashed across his face. He was right. She was burning for him, praying for a taste of his rough touch and commanding love. God, she ached to be taken. She needed it almost as much as she needed the gallery. Her breath hovered between them in tiny pants as she pressed her hips toward him. His thigh muscle at her pussy made her clit pulse hard and her inner walls constrict as if in a plea to be filled. Cade ran his lips down the line of her jaw to the soft point beneath it. “I thought so.” Her arms were unceremoniously dropped, and he turned to go. “Stay out of my way, Claire. I’ve had enough of you.” With the slam of the door, Claire balled her hand and held it to her mouth in a futile attempt to stifle her own scream.
Forbidden by Moira McTark
Chapter Three It had been two days since their run‐in when Cade looked up to see Claire storming across the gallery toward him, a piece of paper clutched in her hand. “Oh, my God! What have you done?” Cade held up an open palm in defense, wondering what he was about to face in front of his entire crew. “Stop yelling and tell me what has you so spun up.” Her eyes were wild and filled with a rage he’d never seen in them before. “Damn you,” she cursed between gritted teeth. “This has my name on it. Nothing has my name on it. Nothing! It’s Clear Skies Enterprises. All of it! There is a reason and now after all of this… Fix this, Cade!” “Jesus, Claire. It’s a permit. I filed it yesterday. Take it easy. If there’s something—” “Yes, there is something. Wherever this is filed, get it back and get my name off it. Now!” He’d never heard her like this, and her ranting dug under his skin like a burr. “Back off, Princess. I’m sorry. I’ll get it straightened out. This isn’t going to mess up your taxes or whatever the hell you’re worried about. I’ll take care of it.” “Now. Take care of it now.” Her hand slammed down on the counter, leaving the permit beside him. Picking it up, a smile spread across his face. An outburst like that could mean only one thing. Claire had a secret. He was going to figure it out, and this permit was the first clue. * * * * * 14
Forbidden by Moira McTark The day was over, the men gone home. Cade had spent the better part of the afternoon haggling with the clerk at the permit office, and then sorting through every paper and record he had for this job until the answer finally dawned on him. From outside the apartment, he could hear the shower running. He rapped three hard knocks and shouted, “Open up, Claire.” The water turned off and within a minute the door swung open. Claire stood soaking wet, wrapped in a long, silky robe, facing him, an anxious look etched across her beautiful face. His cock got half hard just seeing her there—hair streaming in thick tendrils over her shoulders, saturating the light fabric that covered her full breasts so he could see every raised bump and ridge of her hard nipples. Beneath, long bare legs, one slightly bent, pressed together in a way that made him want to push them apart. “What are you doing here?” she asked, the quiver in her voice more enticing than if she’d been naked. He stepped past her and into the loft apartment beyond. “I want to talk to you.” “Look, I’m sorry about earlier. I didn’t know what to do—” “Save it. I got your paperwork fixed,” he interrupted. There was no mistaking the defensiveness in her tone. He continued to move through her sparsely decorated space, taking in the scant few personal items she’d left around—a blanket thrown over the back of the couch, a paperback thriller on the cushion. It had the feel of someone who wasn’t planning to stay. That was good. She cleared her throat. “Thank you.” “I think you’ll be doing more than thanking me.” He turned around to face her and ran his fingers across her chin, sparking a crimson blush that only added to his outrage. She seemed to sense his mood and backed away. “Damn you, Cade. Haven’t you toyed with me enough for one lifetime?” “I haven’t even begun to toy with you, Princess.” He stalked toward her, closing the distance between them in two strides. Taller than her by nearly six inches, he used his size and proximity to gain the advantage, to intimidate. “I went through every paper on this project, wondering how in the hell I could have missed that you were in town.” She jutted her chin out at him. “Checking up on me? Sniffing around for more financing?” He ignored her question and continued with his train of thought. “And you know what I started thinking, Ms. Skylar? What’s your daddy think of you hanging
Forbidden by Moira McTark your little shingle out in our small town?” Her head snapped up and, just like that, Cade knew he had her. The look of guilt and fear said it all. “Ohh, doesn’t he know you’re here?” “What do you want? Money? Fine. Name your price. What’s it going to cost me to keep you quiet for another two weeks?” He wanted to play it cool, but the thought that she would run to his town for her pathetic rebellion against her family made his blood boil. After she’d thrown him to the wolves, how could she possibly think she had any right to set foot here again? He wanted to make her pay. Wanted to humiliate her the way she’d humiliated him. Wanted to take back the control he’d lost ten years ago. “I’m not interested in your money, Princess. There’s more to life than cash. But something tells me that’s one lesson you haven’t learned.” She turned her face up to meet his stare. “Screw you. And I’m not your Princess, Cade.” “Aren’t you?” he taunted, tracing a finger over the swells of her breasts, drawing it down to the crinkled nipple pushing through the sodden fabric. Her breath hitched at his touch, but she didn’t say anything. Didn’t slap him or push him away. She was waiting to see what he would do next. No. Not his Claire. She was waiting…for him to tell her what to do next. He dragged his finger back up her chest, past the hollow at the base of her neck and, crooking it, tilted her chin up more. Bowing his head, he let his lips come within an inch of hers, his breath mingling with hers in the small space between them before he advanced to her ear. “I’m here because I want to toy with you, Princess. Seems to me I remember a girl who liked being told what to do, how to do it. I’m thinking I’d like to spend a little more time with that girl. After yesterday, I’d bet you’re dying to get another taste of me. I’m dying to get another taste of you. I can’t keep my eyes off you. Even knowing how it all ended last time, I can’t tear my eyes away.” It was more of an admission than he’d wanted to share, but he couldn’t stop the words from coming. What was the harm? It wasn’t as if he’d end up walking away with another broken heart. “I want you, Claire. Bent over a chair, taking my command, at my beck and call from the time the crew goes home until the minute the first worker shows up, every day until the gallery opens. Then you’re free to do whatever you like. I’ll move on to my next job, and you can go on your merry way.” And I’ll have gotten you out of my system once and for all. Stepping back, he crossed his arms over his chest and stared at her.
Forbidden by Moira McTark Her breasts rose and fell in quick succession, and her hands clenched at her sides. He half expected her to pull back and slug him, report him to the cops for blackmail, stomp her foot and call her parents herself just to show him how he could fuck himself. But none of that happened. In a voice so low he could barely hear it, she spoke. “What do you want me to do?” * * * * * Claire untied the belt and let her robe slip off her shoulders and down to the floor. Completely naked, she did as instructed and lowered herself to the edge of the bed, swallowing hard. Slowly, she opened her legs, spreading her labia wide with her fingers. A few feet away, Cade sat back, fully dressed, in a leather chair watching her. Not watching her, watching her pussy as she displayed it for him, per his request. Heat prickled across her body and rushed to her face. He could see her juices seeping from her, betraying her arousal. She was furious, humiliated, and trapped. But it didn’t change the fact that the act of submitting to his demands excited her, made her so wet she could feel the liquid running down her delicate skin. He stood and walked over to her. She swallowed hard, sensing the predatory quality of his approach. The muscles throughout her body constricted under the intensity of his gaze. Her breath hitched and stomach tensed. Her core pulsed, releasing another warm trickle of wet from her depths. Burning with shame, she tore her eyes from him and turned her face away. She couldn’t stand to see the mocking victory no doubt flashing across his face. He moved from the chair, and she felt him kneel between her legs, brushing her inner thighs with denim and soft flannel. Large hands with strong fingers and rough pads covered her breasts, testing their weight and softly kneading them. His thumbs brushed over her nipples, tightening them into hard, aching pebbles. His gentle touch would be fleeting; she knew it like she knew the earth would circle the sun. She waited, hating that she longed to feel the demand of his hands on her intensify. She turned her head back to see him. He rubbed his jaw and leaned back, his eyes fixing on her pink flesh. “Very nice, Princess. Play with it for me.” A battle between lust and pride waged within her. Claire blinked several times, controlling herself before she spoke. “Cade, I don’t—” But she stopped herself, knowing she had to honor the deal she’d struck with this devil. If anyone found out where she was, her dream would be gone, and very likely she’d never get another chance to make
Forbidden by Moira McTark it happen. She nodded her understanding and moved her hand between her legs. Keeping her fingers together, she tentatively touched the slick valley between her plump lips. God, she was wet. Her silky juices coated her fingers so they glided smoothly over her engorged pearl. For years she’d wanted to know what it would be like to watch him as she pleasured herself, and now she had her chance. Circling her clit, she groaned, unable to quiet the desire swelling within her. She slipped back down her crease and circled her opening before thrusting into the depths and then returning to her needy clit, circling harder than before, but never touching more than the outer edge of her pleasure point. Her breath came faster as her need for release built. Cade watched her, nearly dying inside as she obeyed his command. Taking her slippery finger in his hand, he guided her in slow circles around her glistening pink flesh. “Does this feel good?” he asked, swirling her finger around her pussy and over her clit in an infinite path. When she didn’t answer right away, he halted the movement of her touch. “We have a deal. Answer me.” She licked her lips and answered. “Yes, it feels good.” Resuming the guided touch, he asked her another, deeper question. “Have you ever thought of me, in all of these years?” She nearly stalled her stroke over her slick skin, but he applied gentle pressure, continuing the steady orbit around her clit. Her breath hitched, and a new trickle of cream escaped her. “Every day,” she answered, her voice quivering slightly. Hearing her confession hurt him more than he could have imagined. Somehow it would have been easier if she’d been so cold that she’d forgotten he existed. It would have made it easier to steel himself against her. He slid her finger over the sensitized bundle of nerves, rubbing it up and down until she bucked her hips and moaned. “When you touch yourself?” “Yes.” He released her hand, allowing her to play around her engorged clit, and slowly he slipped his finger into her pulsing wet channel. “When another man touches you?” Her soft walls hugged his sinking finger, tightening and releasing as she answered him. “There’s only been one, and I…I only think of you.” A single tear slipped from the corner of her eye, trailing a shimmering path across her skin. “Your
Forbidden by Moira McTark touch, your taste…you ruined me.” He froze. He could take no pride in the knowledge, as the same was true for him. Unable to stop, his own confession spilled out of him. “Your face is the one that haunts my dreams, the one I see when I close my eyes and sink into wet flesh. When a woman smiles at me, all I see is you. You’re always with me, just beyond my reach. Until now.”
Forbidden by Moira McTark
Chapter Four He was torturing her, touching her but not giving her all of him, making her wait, making her cry out when he withdrew his hands from between her legs and moved hers away, too. She could barely breathe she was so desperate to feel him against her, inside of her. “Look at me,” he said in a low, steady voice. Pressing her lips together, she shook her head no. She didn’t want him to see her eyes, to know her thoughts. “Look at me.” Claire turned to face him and lifted her lids to meet his stare. God, he was handsome. The scar across his face only added to it. His eyes, the feelings behind them, were open to her as she studied him. He wanted her to see him wanting her. There was more than lust. It was the same look she’d seen all those years ago and, even knowing so much better now, she needed to believe it was real. She needed to believe there was an explanation beyond what she’d been told. She needed to be the one, the reason those brown eyes could go soft and hard at the same time. “Cade.” His name slipped out on a breath before she’d even thought to stop it, but before she could think of anything else, he’d crushed his mouth against hers. Her hands, which had been fisted in the sheets behind her, released and clutched at his thick hair, pulling him closer. She parted her lips fast and wide, desperate to have him within her. Their heads angled, deepening the kiss, and he answered her silent plea with a plundering sweep of his tongue. A needful cry escaped her throat as she pressed herself against him, wrapping her bare legs around his waist and tightening her arms around his neck and head. “Please,” she begged during one fleeting break from the kiss. He easily held her, rising from his knees to stand, one arm supporting her from
Forbidden by Moira McTark beneath, the other wrapped around her back to the base of her neck. Ground against him at her center, she followed the line of his cheekbones, jaw, chin, and down the thick cords of his neck with her mouth, kissing, sucking and biting—unable to satisfy her hunger for his flesh. “Please, Cade. Please, I…I can’t…I need…” She gasped, beyond control. His grip around her tightened, and he shifted to perch one knee on the bed then leaned forward to lay her back over the quilt. “I’m coming, baby. It’s okay, Claire. I’m with you,” he crooned between kisses that covered her neck and breasts. He used one arm to support himself and the other to stroke along her leg, prying it loose from the other ankle it was locked with behind his waist. She let go of his hair and tugged the flannel shirt out of his jeans, pulling at the back as he dragged it free of the front. She was eighteen again, in the back of a pickup, grasping against his belt loops, jerking the shirt over his head, kicking at his pants, trying to push them down. “Please….” Need built so fast within Claire the ache was unbearable. No matter how many walls she’d built around the part of her that belonged only to him, Cade’s single touch was enough to tear them down and free the caged savage need for him she’d tried so desperately to lock away. She didn’t care if he wanted her money. If he’d take any other part of her with it, she would gladly accept the deal. She’d been dead inside for a decade and suddenly, passionately, she needed to live. No feather‐light caress or gentle probing kiss would quell the fire burning within her. She needed him inside of her, his hard cock filling her, driving into her, his body fueling the forbidden flame with every stroke. Nothing else would do. Cade reared up on his knees, needing to get out of his pants, to get inside of her, feel her around him, against him, under him. She cried out as he pulled away. She was burning up, as hot as he was. He didn’t understand anything beyond one simple fact: They were dying for each other. It pained him not to be inside of her yet. Tears pooled in the corners of her beautiful eyes as she begged him to touch her. He reached down and grasped her hips, pulled her forward so that her pussy pressed flush against his thigh. She threw her head back against the bed as he spread her lips and leaned his leg forward, moving his thigh against her clit, giving her the most basic ease of need. Claire took her breasts in both hands, squeezed and pulled. “Hurry,” she gasped, tugging her nipples as far as they would go. Kicking off his pants, Cade crawled over her, his hard cock bobbing out at an angle.
Forbidden by Moira McTark Raising her hips in offering to him, she cried, “I can’t wait, I need you. I need you.” He wanted to believe, for just that moment, that her words meant more than just a physical need. His cock butted up against the wet slick of her pussy, stroked back and forth through her cream, and settled in against her slit. Poised at her threshold, Cade leveled his face over hers and stared into her eyes. “Now, please!” He pushed inside, one long rock‐hard thrust, filling her pulsing core as far as he dared, feeling her body stretch to take him. “More,” she gasped. “All of you.” The air rushed out of her in a pleasured cry as he angled his hips and deepened the penetration so that he was buried to the hilt within her taut sheath. She widened her legs, spreading her slick lips open over him, her clit flat against his groin, and there they lingered in one long, soulful kiss of bodies in union. Their chests rose and fell in fast succession as they stared at one and other. Slowly, Cade rocked his hips in a circular motion, dragging his skin over her clit, and then grinding hard against her. He withdrew to nearly the head of his cock, and then thrust into her, then again, pumping hard and deep with each stroke, her gasps and moans a symphony to his lust to satisfy her. Supporting himself on one arm as he moved within her, he took her leg with the other, slipping a hand down her thigh, under the crook of her knee, and pulled it up to rest over his shoulder. He could feel her tension build, increasing with his every stroke, until she cried out, begging him in panting pleas, “Tell me…tell me….” Cade’s hand splayed over her hip, around and under her butt, cradling and lifting her to meet his every demanding stroke. “I want...to feel...you come,” he panted in her ear, nipping at the outer ridge and then soothing the sting with his breath. “Come for me, baby. Come, Claire.” Her body tensed and, with his next thrust, he ground against her clit, digging his fingers into the soft flesh of her ass. Her body shuddered and her muscles clamped hard around his cock, her pussy spasming against his groin. She cried out, barely catching her breath before the next cry came, louder than the last. Thrusting hard, his hips worked like a piston, his cock delving in and out of her constricting core. His jaw tensed as he drove into her again and again. Her nails bit into the muscles of his shoulders as her hips rocked to meet his rhythm, until he couldn’t hold back and released himself with a roar. He looked down at her, his arms shaking as sweat ran from his temple to chin.
Forbidden by Moira McTark He couldn’t remember the last time sex had been like this. No, he could. It had always been like this with her, he’d just blocked out the x‐rated details in self‐preservation. If he’d remembered, he would have been a fool to agree to continue working with her. She drove him wild, made him insane, made it hurt to be near her and not touch her, to touch her and not be inside of her. How had she done this to him again? In only a matter of days. He’d been the one who wanted control. He’d been the one to set the rules. But here he was, looking down at Claire, the same Claire of ten years ago. The same Claire who lured him in and then left him hung out to dry. The same Claire who had found it easier to send him to prison than to send him a Dear John letter. What the hell was he doing? He’d almost told her he loved her the minute she’d taken him inside of her. He’d submerged himself in her, and then nothing had mattered but her. What kind of a woman could send a man to jail and then make him want to spend every minute of the rest of his life trying to satisfy her? Claire could. Still buried within her, he realized they hadn’t used protection. In his possessed mind, he’d been thinking that she was his wife, the woman he would share his life with, the woman he wanted to make a baby with. There was nothing to be done about it now, but he would have to ask her if she was protected. Slipping out of her, his head dropped heavy between his arms. Cool fingers reached up and touched his hair, caressed his cheek. Unable to resist her touch, he turned his face into her palm and kissed the hollow of it. He was exhausted, fatigued of heart and mind and twelve hours of manual labor to boot. Looking into her eyes, his mind shut down. “How can you do this to me?” Her eyes widened, and he realized the words had spilled out of his mouth without a thought. Licking his lips, he dragged in a lungful of air and tried to laugh, shaking his head. How the hell would he get out of that? “I mean you are really hot. Damn hot. Look at me, all but ready to collapse on top of you. Have me snoring in your ear inside of a minute. Sexy, huh?” But Claire wasn’t so easily duped. She held his stare, no smile, no laugh. “I was about to ask you the same thing.” Her voice trembled when she spoke, and Cade suddenly wanted to run for his life. Nothing in his existence had ever affected him the way Claire’s tears had. It was dangerous to see them. There was nothing he wouldn’t do to stop the slow trickle of salty pain from slipping down her cheeks. Nothing, and he’d proven that already. “This,” she said, gesturing between them. “After everything, how can I let you do this to me?”
Forbidden by Moira McTark She was being honest; he could see it in her eyes. Whatever she said, he would believe it. She blinked back the tears darkening her lashes into wet points. “How can you be so good at making me feel like you love me, when love is the last thing on your mind? I know better, and I still feel like I’ll die without your touch.” The tears fell silently from the corners of her eyes. He reached out and stroked them away with his thumb, but she would no longer meet his stare. “I loved you. I was such a fool. I wouldn’t listen to anyone. And even after they were proved right, God help me, I never stopped loving you.”
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Chapter Five Cade stopped moving; his heart nearly ceased to beat. Time stood still. “Claire, don’t look away. I need to see you.” She looked up as he held her helpless beneath him. “I need you to tell me... How did I betray you?” Claire blinked, furrowing her brows. “You know how. Haven’t I said enough?” “No, damn it, tell me. What do you think I did to you?” “I know what you did! You lied to me, told me you loved me, that you would come for me, that we would be together. You lied to me and left me waiting for you when all the while you were romancing every debutante that crossed the town line into Castle Cove. You took their money, their trust, and their bodies, and damned if I didn’t dream of you most every night for ten years anyway.” A bitter sob broke loose from her chest, and she pushed him away, grabbing up the sheet as she walked over to the window. Too stunned to react, Cade was lost in all the bitter words exchanged over the past days, hearing them with a new understanding of the hurt and lies behind them. His fists balled and his face tensed, the dark storm of his temper building. They had both been fools. He looked at Claire, staring out into the night with a sheet wrapped around her. Rising from the bed, he stalked across the room to her and took her roughly by the arm, spinning her to face him. “Listen to me, Claire. You are wrong. Dead wrong. About all of this. I did love you and, damn it, I still do. You are mine, and you always have been. No matter the years that have passed, you have belonged to me since the first instant I saw you stepping out of that car.” She tugged her arm, but he wouldn’t let go. “There was never anyone else, no one but you.” 25
Forbidden by Moira McTark Her bitter laugh broke free. “How can you say that? How can you look me in the eye and…” He did look her in the eye, and what she saw must have challenged what she thought she knew. “You were in jail because of the money you took, the trust funds, the other girls—” “No,” he shouted, shaking her with both hands. It was too much to know what she’d thought all of this time. “No, Claire. I was in jail because your father had me arrested for breaking into your house when I came trying to find you after that last call.” The color drained from her face, and she staggered back, would have fallen if he hadn’t had his hands on her. Shifting his grip, he picked her up and carried her back to the bed. Her body shook in his arms, and he suddenly feared he’d pushed her too far, that the truth was too much for her to handle. “My father? But… You came for me?” He rubbed his hands over her bare arms and pulled her into his chest. “I told you I would come for you. I never lied. When you left, I called and wrote, I waited for you to contact me, to tell me where to meet you. But for weeks there was nothing. Finally you called, hysterical, screaming that they were going to send you away... And then you were gone, the phone dead before I could even find out where.” “Oh, God.” Claire’s eyes looked hollow, and he wasn’t sure if he should tell her the rest, but after all of these years, she had as much of a right to the truth as he did. Taking her hand, needing her to feel his presence, to know he was real and with her, Cade continued. “Your father had a gun. The police were on their way. He knew people in the right places, and the trial was a sham. He wanted me gone, and I was, at least for a few years. But the worst thing was, he said you asked him to get me out of your life. That the phone call was so I would stop trying to get in touch with you. I was just supposed to think you were gone. No harm. But when I came for you, he said that you’d been terrified your summer secret would follow you around for the rest of your life. You had wanted me out of the way.” He stepped back, waiting for her to absorb what he’d said. It wouldn’t be easy and truth be told, he wasn’t completely sure she would believe him when it came to his word against her family, even under the circumstances. “You went to prison believing it was me who wanted you there?” Cade dropped his head. “No. I never really believed it, not until I found you here. When you said you thought I was still in jail, I think my heart broke all over again.
Forbidden by Moira McTark It was the first time I’d accepted that you were involved.” “I’m going to kill him.” The sound of her voice chilled him to the core. “Claire—” “I thought mine was the only life he’d ruined, and I could live with that. It was the luck of the draw, my lot, the family that gave me life. But what he’s done to you, what he’s taken from you. Prison.” She lifted her hand to the scar running across his face, stroking it lightly. “Where you got this?” He put his hand over hers and shook his head. “No, baby. Just an accident at a site.” It was the only lie he’d ever tell her, but knowing about the prison fight that nearly took his life wasn’t anything that would help her. She dropped her chin, letting the tangle of golden curls fall forward over her face. “He called me a slut, told me I was your whore, that I’d thrown my value away. Screamed at me that no one would take me knowing I’d given away my innocence and been degraded in the arms of trash.” Cade bristled, recalling the term used from behind the safety of a gun. “That’s all over now, Claire. Now we know the truth. We’re together.” Shaking her head violently, panic crept into her voice. “You don’t understand. I’ve been hiding here. It’s why I couldn’t put my name on any of the documents. Why I made such a scene about the records you filed with the city. It’s only a matter of time until they find me, but I have enough time to make something for myself. I want to build the gallery, establish it. I’m going to stay here until they find me, and then I’ll have to give it up. They’ll never let me keep it.” He tightened his hold around her shoulders, trying to protect her from the memories and fears he had no control over. “When I called you, all those years ago, that wasn’t my first attempt. I’d sent letters, I’d tried calling, but they blocked me at every turn. They were going to have me committed. If I wasn’t going to go along with their plan, they would have taken my life away. After that night, they sent me to University in Europe. And a month later, they told me all the lies about you. Told me you were in prison. Showed me some records. Made me believe the worst and…I did.” Her face registered fury, though he wondered if it was directed at her family or herself. “Claire, you were manipulated. Lied to. It wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t either of our faults.” She looked up at him, shaking her head. “But don’t you see? My mother is dead now, and she was as close to an advocate as I ever had. My father controls everything. He will never let me stay with you. I know what he’s capable of. I know that when he
Forbidden by Moira McTark finds me, I’ll vanish! I’ve run before, twice. The first time I spent three months in a private facility, the second time six. He doesn’t accept betrayals.” It was more than he could stand. He pulled her over to the bed and onto his lap, pried open her fists clutching the sheet closed at her neck, and circled his arms around her, pressing her bare breasts against his chest. Wrapping her legs around his waist, he touched her in all the most intimate places. He wound his hands in her hair and pulled her head back to meet his stare. “Listen to me. No one is going to take you away. I’m not twenty years old anymore.” “You have a record now. It will be easier than ever for them to get to you.” “No, shh. Stop,” he whispered, stroking her shoulders. “We are going to have a life here. You are mine. Nothing can come between us.” Nothing ever again. Claire shifted in his lap, pressing against him. “Yours?” she whispered against his neck. His hands slid down her back and settled over the curves of her ass. Gripping it, he answered, “Mine. Forever.” His heart pumped fast, sending blood in a rush to his cock, which rose to stroke Claire from below. Her breath came in a soft pant. “Cade, make me yours. Ruin me. Claim me, take me so no one else will want me.” “I can’t stop someone from wanting you.” He smiled. “But regardless of what anyone else wants, no one will ever have you again.” He lifted her up and positioned her above his solid cock standing at attention. She was hot and slick as she sank over his shaft. Her body pulsed, hugging him through the descent until she was seated to the hilt. Jaw set, it was all he could do to fight the moan of pleasure threatening to escape. Bowing his spine, he lowered his head and covered her areola with his lips. Sucking hard, he drew the sensitized nipple into his mouth, flicked the erect tip with his tongue, and tugged it with his teeth. Her breasts were perfect, and they would belong only to him forevermore. “This is mine, Claire. No one else can touch it.” “Yours,” she answered, rocking her hips to stroke his cock within her. Her hands skimmed up her ribs and under the creamy swells. Arching her back, she offered him the other breast. He took it greedily into his mouth and pulled at it, making her cry out against the top of his head. Releasing the suction, he dropped kisses around the tight pink nipple and licked it with a swirl of his tongue. “Mine.” She leaned further back, rubbing against his groin. Burying his face in the soft valley between her breasts, he continued to run his tongue over her skin, suckling, licking, nipping tiny red bites to stake his claim over every spot he touched. “This
Forbidden by Moira McTark belongs to me,” he growled, dragging his teeth against the top of her shoulder and the side of her neck. “Every part, don’t leave one inch of me unclaimed.” Lifting her off of him, he moved her back onto the bed and spread her legs wide before him. Her pussy was slick and creamy as she clenched under his stare. He trailed more kisses over her legs and abdomen before circling in to her mound. Her blond curls were soft and damp when he rubbed his cheek against them, inhaling her musky scent. Spreading her swollen lips, he ran the pointed tip of his tongue along every crease and fold, circling her clit and then sucking it hard between his teeth, making her spasm against his mouth. He dipped his tongue into her wet depths and tasted her bittersweet tang infused with his own essence. Brushing his lips against the glistening pink of her sex, he claimed her. “Mine.” He covered every inch of her exposed flesh, touching and tasting, leaving his mark, voicing his domination over the expanse of skin before him. Gently, he turned her over and marked her backside in turn. Calves, thighs, the hollow at the base of her spine. Positioning her on all fours, he slid into her from behind, thrusting with slow determination as he claimed her shoulders and neck. Pulling out of her again, he leaned back on his knees and claimed the soft curves of her ass. Stroking between her spread legs, he painted her slick juices over her asshole. “Do you want me to claim every inch of you?” he asked, teasing the tight knot until she gasped and rocked back against him, giving entry to his finger. “Own me,” she panted, taking him deep inside her as her strong walls cinched hard against him, “like no one has before.” Withdrawing his digit, he positioned his cock, coated thick with her cream, at the muscled ring. Slowly he pushed into her, working past the thick bulb, soothing her as she gasped and pushed herself further back over him. The tight muscles constricted rhythmically around him. Straining to control himself, he breathed, gripping the fleshy curves of her ass as he eased into her virgin sheath. Buried within her tight recesses, they rocked together until her body adjusted to his presence within her. He leaned forward so his chest covered the smooth skin of her back and, supporting himself on one arm, reached around to stroke her pussy. With his cock deep inside her ass, he didn’t tease, but circled her clit with two slick fingertips. She clenched around his cock as he worked her hard nub, and soon he began to thrust in and out of her with long, steady strokes. “You belong to me, Claire. You’re mine,” he managed through gritted teeth as she cried out, spasming against his fingers,
Forbidden by Moira McTark clamping around him, coming so violently her hips jerked and her elbows buckled underneath her. Cade wrapped a long arm under her middle, supporting her as her body contracted in hard, pulsing waves around him, stroking him with her ruthless grip, until his muscles bunched and the pressure grew too great, and he released with a roar, squeezing her body tight against him as he spilled his seed into her. “I belong to you, Claire.”
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Chapter Six Claire stood in the corner of the gallery, the collection of artwork she’d spent years accumulating hung and lit, and the man she spent years yearning for beside her, the palm of his hand warming her back. The crowds circulating through the grand opening were better than she could have hoped for. As the hour grew late and the number in attendance dwindled, she stood back, soaking up the moment. She’d done it. Everything was exactly as she’d envisioned. With a sidelong look at Cade, she conceded that some things were even better than she’d imagined. For the first time, she believed her life would be her own. When the goodbyes were all said and the last patrons disappeared into the night, Claire walked to the bank of wall switches and turned one off after another until the only light came from the stairwell at the back of the gallery. Strong hands slipped around her neck, smoothing over the woven gold chain at the nape of her neck, down to her breasts, abdomen and thighs. Bunching the sheer metallic fabric of her dress, his hands roamed over her bare flesh, slinking up into the wet valley between her legs. Her eyes closed, and her head fell back against the solid chest behind her. “Cade,” she moaned as his fingers slipped around her clit, stroking back and forth. “You’re so beautiful. I could barely keep my hands off of you tonight.” His lips dragged along the length of her neck, his cock hard against her ass. Wet heat stirred through her core, pulsing against his touch. “You barely did,” she answered in a low, breathy laugh as she raised her arms back, over her head, to run her fingers through his hair. Even when they’d torn away from each other for a moment here or there, she’d felt his eyes on her as intensely as his hands were now. “Finally alone. I’m trying to decide what I want to do to you first.” His moist 31
Forbidden by Moira McTark breath teased the whorl of her ear. Chills ran rampant over her skin, and she pressed back against him. “Anything you—” “Mind waiting until I’m done first?” Claire’s blood ran cold at the sound of the disdainful voice. Raymond. She’d been found. Cade’s hands were off her in a flash, spinning her in his arms to tuck her face into his chest, his arm wrapped proprietarily around her. “Who the hell are you?” “Raymond Magnus. Claire’s fiancé. Who the hell are you? Never mind. You’re insignificant.” Claire peeked out, horrified, at Raymond. He leaned casually against the open door of the gallery, typically dressed in a perfectly tailored navy wool suit, every detail of his being from his gelled hair to his polished shoes set her on edge. He was groomed to a tee. As far as she knew, he’d been groomed since birth to be her husband. Someone suitable her father had selected, Raymond was the man she’d been trying to escape from for as many years as she’d been longing for Cade. Raymond didn’t love her. He never had. She wasn’t sure if he even liked her, but she knew with all certainty he planned to marry her. “I’m not going anywhere with you, Raymond. This is where my life is now.” She prayed it would be the truth. Her gaze darted past the dark windows in search of some lurking gang of Brooks Brothers thugs. Raymond let out a short laugh. “Believe me, you’re leaving. Claire, darling, you have to stop playing games with these poor men’s hearts. It’s not fair.” Cade’s hands fisted against her, his body tense. “You’d do well to get out of here.” Her teeth set, she held firm against the man she loved. He wouldn’t believe any more lies, and he wouldn’t let her go. Not now. Unabated, Raymond continued. “Whoever you are, you’ll just have to trust me. This little woman is going to bring you nothing but trouble. You can’t honestly believe she’s planning to stay here.” He snickered, checking his nails. “Sure, she runs off from time to time. Cold feet, I think is what they call it. But then she runs on home. And when she does, brother, you don’t want to be the man she’s trying to shake. Too many poor fellows have found that out the hard way.” “You’re a damned liar,” she yelled, trying to break free from Cade’s hold. Twisting in his arms, she looked up to his face. “He’s never going to leave me be.” “Shh. He will.” Cade’s stare was so steady she almost believed him.
Forbidden by Moira McTark “I see I’ve interrupted you. Not that I’m pleased about it, but I have to grant Claire her little play dates.” With a bored sigh, Raymond pulled a card from the inside pocket of his jacket and tossed it across the floor. “Darling, we’ve let you have your day. Now, finish up with this one and then let’s get out of his one horse town. The address is on the card. We’re waiting for you.” With that, he turned on his heel and strode out of the gallery and into the night. Claire rushed to the door and threw the deadbolt, typing in the alarm code with trembling fingers. She felt as if she’d been slapped. Her face burned from anger and humiliation, her stomach twisted in fear. Dragging the breath into her body, she swallowed hard and looked back at Cade. He shook his head, walking toward her. His brown eyes, soft and concerned, met hers. “They’ve found me,” she whispered. “No, Claire, they’ve found us. We knew it would happen, but nothing, no one, is ever going to come between us. You’re mine, remember? Anyone who tries will have to deal with me. I’ll tear them apart before I let them have you.” Quivering, she nodded, but she knew what her father could do, how far he would go, and she was terrified. Cade was the strongest man she’d ever met, but he played fair. The Normandys did not. Cade’s life meant more to her than her own and, because of her, it was in jeopardy. She’d been so selfish, so stupid. Maybe she should have gone—walked out the door with Raymond, left Cade safely behind. Maybe she— Cade leaned toward her, dropping one arm under her legs and swept her up in his arms. “You’re mine, Claire. I’m taking you to bed.” * * * * * “Claire!” He awoke with a start, air rushing his lungs, the environment around him wrong in every way. He shouted again, his voice grinding like gravel in his throat, sharp and abrasive in his effort to use it. There was no answer. The bed was empty, the sheets cold. She was gone. * * * * * Muscles burning, Cade hoisted himself up to the second floor balcony.
Forbidden by Moira McTark It took two phone calls for him to verify the Mason’s place in Candle Bay, only six miles away, had been rented to Ned Normandy two days before, and he was due to leave the following day. There was no time to waste, no time to think twice about risks or consequences. There were only the mistakes of the past and promises made for the future, promises he intended to keep. He would come for her. Crouching, he went to the open window and peeked into the darkened interior. Billowing sheers whipped against him as he opened the window wider and threw one leg over the ledge into the room. He hunched forward and crept in. “That’s far enough, Mr. Watts.” Cade froze where he was, his heart slamming against his chest at the familiar voice. Light flooded the room. Ned Normandy stood in a burgundy silk robe holding a pistol out in front of him. To the right, Claire lay sprawled in her nightgown atop a neatly made bed. Her eyes were closed, the woven gold of her necklace rose and fell with each steady breath, but troubled lines furrowed her brow even in her unconscious state. “I’m here for Claire. What have you done to her? Drugs? Is that how you got her out of the apartment, you bastard?” Ned Normandy curled his lip, cocking his head to the side. “No. Raymond had a gun pointed at your head, and she went quite willingly. Obviously, she’s sedated now. Just as well. I don’t think it would be very wise to have her witness this next little bit of business. Seems we have a trespasser here in the house. Deranged fellow with a grudge about being sent to the slammer some years back. Shame you couldn’t have learned your lesson. Claire Normandy doesn’t belong with trash like you. I won’t have it.” Cade’s gut knotted as he shot a glance back to the bed where Claire’s eyes were struggling to open. Rage rose in his throat at the sight. She thrashed her head to the side and back, hands clutching at the sheets. “I’m here, Claire. Rest, baby.” Steeling himself for what would come next, he replied to her father, “You mean Claire Watts. That’s my wife you’ve got drugged over there, old man.” The color washed from Normandy’s already pallid skin, but his expression only darkened. “Even better. She left you after she realized what a pathetic mistake she’d made, and you broke in here in a rage. I’ll kill you protecting my family.” Managing to get to the edge of the bed, Claire screamed and lunged across the floor on unsteady feet. “No!” he yelled, trying to hold her away. “Claire, get back, everything is going to be fine. I’ll be safe, stay back.”
Forbidden by Moira McTark She held fast, refusing to heed his command. “I won’t let him hurt you. I can’t!” The gun never moved, regardless of Claire’s placement. The danger to her was the only thing that scared Cade. With a hand rougher than he ever wanted to use with his wife, he grasped her arm and wrenched her behind him. Light swept across the ceiling in arcs of red and blue. Cade glanced down at the private drive leading to the house and saw the cruiser pulling up fast. He turned to face Normandy again and smiled. “Unless life in prison is the retirement plan you have in mind, I think you might want to reconsider using that pistol. The sheriff just pulled up. And I’ll tell you, he looks mad.” “What are you talking about?” Keeping the gun trained on Cade, Normandy sidestepped to the window, hissing as he looked down. “I’m not some twenty‐year‐old punk without a clue anymore, Ned. You remember the foreman who testified at that sham you called my trial? Well, he’s the sheriff now. Seems you put a bit of a bee in his bonnet about standing up for justice.” Normandy glared at Cade, a sinister smile curling his lip. “No, son. I think I’ll just kill you now. You’ve got a record and, as we speak, Raymond is fixing up all the witnesses money can buy to attest to your violent break in and assault.” He raised the gun to Cade’s chest. “Move away from this man, Claire. I’ll have a grandson out of you and Raymond, and I’d rather not risk the shot.” “Go to Hell, you bastard!” she said between gritted teeth, struggling to get between them, but Cade held her back. He wanted to wrap his hands around the tyrant’s neck, roar in his face that Raymond would never lay one finger on Claire again, but instead he took one step forward and ripped open his shirt down to his waist, revealing the wire taped to his skin. “Earl, you got all that?” The next second, a voice sounded from the hallway behind them. “Yes, sir, I did. This is Sheriff Earl McLeary. Set down your weapon and put your hands over your head.” Normandy clenched his teeth, his breath coming fast as the sheriff walked in, circling the old man. “Mr. Normandy, your daughter contacted me with Cade here, expressing their concern that you might try to abduct her. An alert system was fitted into her necklace, and she signaled it three hours ago, just before Cade called me.” “That’s absurd. You’d do well to think twice about this, Sheriff. I’ll have your badge—” Earl put up a hand for silence and nodded at Cade. “Son, you get on out of here.
Forbidden by Moira McTark I’d hate to have things get ugly.” * * * * * Hours later, Claire and Cade had given their statements and watched from the rocky shore as Ned Normandy and Raymond Magnus were taken into custody and driven off to the first of the many cells that would house their futures. Returning to Clear Skies, they walked through the silent gallery. Cade collected the mass of curls hanging at Claire’s back, loosely twisting them to hang over her shoulder. He bent his head and kissed the soft skin at the top of her neck. “This place is the first thing we’ve built together. The first of many.” She nodded and looked back at him, a tentative smile faltering on her lips. She took a few more steps but, at the base of the stairs, her legs gave out beneath her, fatigue wracking her body. “Can it really be over? After all these years, are we really free?” Cade took her in his arms. “We are, Claire. Nothing is ever going to take you from me again.” Her eyes shone with hope as she gazed back at him. “Make me believe it. Make me feel it.” Her words rushed out of her in a plea, sending the blood racing through his body, his cock responding to her need as if it were his alone. He bowed his head and crushed his mouth against hers, filling her wet recess with his tongue. His hands pulled at the silken fabric of her nightgown until the hem hung above her exposed pussy. Pressing herself against him, she hiked her leg up to his hip and pulled at his shirt, jerking it back over his shoulders and leaving it to hang as she tightened her arms around his neck, taking more of his thrusting tongue, moaning around him. Cade’s hands dug into her thighs, lifting her against him so that he could lean her back against the wall. She fumbled between them, yanking at his fly, diving into his pants to gasp his cock with her small, warm hand. He was hard, aching to spring free of the denim prison, seeking another moist hold to lose himself in. Writhing between his thighs and the wall, she tried to raise herself to take him. “I’m here,” he said, lifting her in one swift motion and seating her over his cock. She was drenched with need, desperate to be filled, and hugged his shaft hungrily as she slipped over him. “Do you feel me, Claire?” She panted, nodding, her eyes locked on his. “Yes.”
Forbidden by Moira McTark He thrust into her core, deepening his strokes until her clit settled against his groin. She pulsed against him, tightened her legs around his waist, clutched at his hair with her fingers. He throbbed within her. “Do you believe it? There’s nothing else but you and me. Nothing.” He raised her up, slow and steady, drove her back down, once, twice, and again, until she shuddered against him. “There’s nothing,” she gasped. “I believe….” Her words died out, becoming an impassioned cry as she came around him. Her inner muscles rippled over his shaft, hugging him with a strength he couldn’t resist. Pouring his seed into her, he pumped his hips until they both clung together, finally knowing their future was their own. The End
Forbidden by Moira McTark
Author Bio Moira McTark lives with her husband and four young children in a small town in Minnesota. She can most often be found enjoying a spot of imaginary tea, crashing Hot Wheels, and building elaborate railways over the Island of Sodor. When Moira needs a sanity break, she slinks off to her office and writes. You can find her at www.moiramctark.com or moiramctark.blogspot.com. She loves to hear from her readers.